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Accountants warn of expensive injury insurance premiums after NHS scheme strips GP partners of cover

GPs face having to pay ‘hefty' premiums for private injury benefits insurance after the GPC advised they should take out private cover because of changes to the NHS scheme.

The current scheme - described in a BMA briefing document as 'the NHS' best-kept secret' - provides an annual income for GPs and other staff working for the NHS who suffer a temporary or permanent loss of earnings resulting from an accident wholly or mainly attributable to their NHS duties.

But a raft of changes due to be introduced in October will limit future injury benefit provision to the period of employment contract only - and strip independent contractors of coverage altogether.

The BMA briefing document said: ‘The provisional agreement means going forward independent contractors will no longer have access to the current provisions (unless an injury occurred before the cut off date) and will not be captured under the new arrangements.'

The GPC's newsletter to members advised: ‘Following this news, the GPC's legal advice on this matter is that GPs should consider getting their own injury benefits insurance.'

Bob Senior, director of medical services at RSM Tenon accountants and chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants,  warned equivalent cover for GPs in the private sector could mean expensive premiums.‘To get a flat sum if you break your leg skiing is pocket money,' he said. ‘But for an open-ended commitment to maintain your income the premiums could be hefty.'